10 Pictures That Proved Switzerland Is the Perfect Summer Vacation Spot

Between the lush green valleys, pristine alpine lakes and breathtaking views of the Alps, there’s no better time than summer to visit Switzerland. Whether you prefer swimming in clear water, hiking to the summit of incredible peaks or enjoying the culture that only a European city can provide, Switzerland has got you covered. Here are 10 pictures that prove Switzerland is the perfect spot for your summer vacation.

Mount Pilatus

Credit: Damien VERRIER/iStock

The lore behind Mount Pilatus adds to the already mesmerizing peak. Whether or not you believe that the mountain was created from the rock where a dragon lived or that a petrified man serves as a guardian to the mountain’s caves, arriving at the summit of Mount Pilatus will make your jaw drop. Offering a commanding view of 73 peaks in the Alps and accessible by train, cable car and, of course, hiking trails, there’s no doubt that Mount Pilatus is a must-visit on your summer tour of Switzerland.


Credit: AleksandarGeorgiev/iStock

After summiting Mount Pilatus, it’s essential to visit the nearby town of Lucerne. Situated on the Reuss, a waterway that divides the town in two, the city’s architecture is reminiscent of its medieval origins. Footbridges cross over the Reuss, including the Chapel Bridge, one of the oldest wooden bridges in the country. The Reuss feeds into nearby Lake Lucerne, a beautiful alpine lake that can be explored via steamboat.


Credit: OGphoto/iStock

The small village of Lauterbrunnen is located in a narrow green valley, with the Alps rising on either side. With several day hikes in the area and the magnificence of the Jungfrau region only a train ride away, Lauterbrunnen is an ideal starting point for any type of adventure. In addition, Lauterbrunnen translates to “many fountains,” a nod to the region’s abundant and impressive waterfalls, including the 900-foot Staubbach Falls.

Harder Kulm

Credit: Prasit Rodphan/iStock

Interlaken’s local mountain, Harder Kulm, is easy to reach with a short ride on the funicular, or cable train. The eight-minute ride carries passengers to a viewing platform over 4,000-feet above sea level. From here, the panoramic views are simply stunning, offering glimpses of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau — the famed “Big Three” peaks in the Bernese Alps.

Lake Brienz

Credit” Peter Wey/Shutterstock

From the top of Harder Kulm, one can also see Lake Brienz, a pristine Alpine lake widely known for its arresting turquoise color. Besides swimming in the clear water, or picnicking beside the shore, visitors can take scenic boat cruises around the lake. The popular Giessbach Falls also has a footpath that leads hikers under the majestic waterfall that cascades into the lake.


Credit: Maythee Voran/Shutterstock

Located along the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva, the small resort town of Montreux has much more to offer than its bucolic setting. Every July, the town hosts the Montreux Jazz Festival, an event which welcomes talented musicians from around the world. The region is also known for its wineries, and a day touring the idyllic Swiss countryside, tasting wine, is not to be missed.


Credit: emperorcosar/Shutterstock

Located on the Rhine, the city of Basel resembles a European fairy tale. From visiting the richly decorated buildings in Old Town to touring the city’s modern architecture, it is clear that this historic city is very much based on aesthetics. With over 40 art museums, including the world-famous Kunstmuseum, Basel serves as a Swiss epicenter for culture and the arts.


Credit: Saro17/iStock

Adventure sports enthusiasts flock to the mountains of Switzerland from all over the world and summertime is the season for mountain bikers. Poschiavo, a small town near the Italian border, is a mecca for athletes on two wheels. The Bernina Express Mountain Bike Trail ends in Poschiavo and the surrounding mountains have several single track trails that challenge riders and boast stunning views of mountains, valleys and the occasional farm animal.


Credit: emperorcosar/Shutterstock

Gornergrat, a mountain located within the Pennine Alps, stands at an elevation of 10,285 feet. Accessible by a cog rail from the alpine town of Zermatt, the Gornergrat railway takes its passengers on a high altitude ride to one of the most incredible vistas in Switzerland. Not only does the ride offer impressive views of the surrounding mountains, including the famed Matterhorn, but the train also has multiple stops along the way for exploring the Alps by foot.


Credit: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock

There is no site in Switzerland more iconic than the Matterhorn. This craggy, snow-covered spire rises over 14,000 feet above sea level and towers over the aforementioned town of Zermatt. Whether you choose to witness the Matterhorn’s reflection in Lake Stellisee or ride up in the Matterhorn Gondola, this peak will leave you in awe. If you choose the latter, you can also explore the mountain from within by touring the Glacier Palace, a journey that takes you 50 feet below the surface into a mountainous world of ice.

About the author: Jersey Griggs | Writer for The Discoverer

Jersey Griggs is a writer and editor based in Portland, Maine. In addition to travel, Jersey covers topics ranging from outdoor recreation to alternative wellness.



What to Do When the Heat’s Turned Up

Read James 1:1-12.

They came up to the ensign and poured a glass of ice water down his back and threw another in his face. The ensign, who had fallen asleep in the chow hall after five sleepless nights, opened his eyes for a second, just long enough to utter a dull “Thank you, sir.” A moment later his eyes rolled upward and then closed. His head went down again. He didn’t touch his meal.

It’s called Hell Week and is part of the navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition School where sailors are turned into SEALs—Sea-Air-Land commandos. By undergoing a grueling regimen of sleepless days and nights, sensory overload, and physical testing, these men are transformed into some of the toughest human beings in the world.

This final period of torturous physical and psychological training begins on Sunday night with exercising and lying wet on cold steel plates, installed on a nearby pier.

On Monday the six-man teams are ordered to run races with 250-pound Zodiac rubber assault boats balanced on their heads. On Tuesday, with less than an hour of sleep the night before, they have to row those Zodiac boats to Mexican waters and back. On Wednesday the men continue the races with boats bouncing on their heads.

The chance to disenroll awaits each student. All he has to do is ring a certain bell three times and say, “I quit.”

By Thursday everyone is hallucinating. By Friday afternoon the week is over, and the new SEALs are lined up to be checked by a doctor.

Only in terms of the ugliness of war can punishment like this make any sense. By pushing these men to the very brink of insanity during times of peace, the navy is giving them the best chance to be ready to face the cruelty of real war if it comes.

With his first words in this letter, James reminds his suffering brothers and sisters that they should not be surprised when they experience intense periods of testing. He knows that they face a spiritual conflict that will require a toughness learned only through proper instruction and monitored experience. James calls God’s training regimen “various [kinds of] trials” (1:2). As he prepares his friends for the inevitable test, he outlines for them and for us the following five strategies to employ when times of testing invade.

Taken from bestselling author David Jeremiah’s book What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do. Copyright 2015 by David C Cook; all rights reserved.


At Issue – Education

Job 8:8–13

Getting a degree (or multiple degrees) is a wonderful, satisfying accomplishment that we should look on with pride. However, our society tends to value formal education more than the wisdom of age. Reflecting on Job’s suffering, Bildad urged him to learn from the instruction of former generations. While there’s great value in both education and in learning from our elders, there’s also a difference between a formal education and wisdom—applying that knowledge. No matter how many degrees you have, education doesn’t make you always right or better than others. Work at having a teachable heart that learns from others, not one that hides behind a degree.


2 Kings 8:1–6

You may want to review 2 Kings 4:8–37 for the background of the Shunammite’s story. This account teaches the importance of maintaining rightful ownership of property and also provides a window into God’s extravagance in providing for our material needs.

Theologian Peter C. Phan summarizes social thought during the Old Testament period as follows:

Gerhard von Rad declares that there is no concept in the Old Testament as central and significant for all relationships of human life as justice or righteousness. Justice is the social principle that held the Hebrew social fabric together. It is the fidelity to the demands of a relationship as established by the law—the web of relationships between king and people, judge and complainants, family and tribe and kinsfolk, the community and the resident alien, the whole of humanity and God. Of course the law also commands love. Yet, in point of fact, the sense of solidarity is for the most part limited to fellow members of religion and race, even though the prophets often urge the Hebrew people to go beyond these narrow limits.

In Leviticus 25:23–24 God says, “The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers. Throughout the land that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.”

Naomi’s situation in the book of Ruth seems similar. The family has resided in Moab for ten years, having migrated from Judah to escape a famine. Ruth 4:3 speaks of Naomi’s desire to sell her husband’s land, but two interpretations may be applied here: Either Naomi owns the land but is so poor that she feels she must sell it. Or alternatively, Elimelek may already have sold the plot prior to the family’s departure. In this case, the law makes provision for his widow to “redeem” it—buy it back. Since Naomi is now destitute, she looks for a guardian-redeemer to purchase back the land on her behalf.

In the Shunammite’s case, it is possible that the land has either been taken illegally during the family’s absence or been appropriated by the king, most likely either Jehu or Joram, due to its apparent abandonment. Her husband was already elderly when their son was born (see 2Ki 4:14), and there is no mention of him in 2 Kings 8. Phan indicates that widows and orphans “in the ancient patriarchal society were economically the most helpless since they did not have the aid of a male head of the family.”

An interesting detail in this story is the “fluke” of Elisha and Gehazi discussing her situation with the king at the very time the Shunammite arrives to plead for the return of her land.

Think About It

  • If true justice were served in your neighborhood, what would be different?
  • Could humans ever live in a truly just society this side of heaven? What would it look like?
  • What “coincidence” in your life has served to verify God’s providence in some unforgettable way? How has this affected your stewardship of whatever was involved?

Pray About It

Lord God, your care and concern for justice in the details of our lives is amazing to me. Help me to see how you orchestrate all things to your ends. And help me to be a partner in your work.


Perfect Peace

Isaiah 26:3–7

Additional Scripture Readings: Psalm 4:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:16

A five-year-old tumbles into the kitchen from his adventures in backyard mud, bringing footprints of scum across a clean floor. The phone rings. The baby cries. The doorbell chimes. The dog barks. A harried mom grabs her temples in response to this torture.

Change scenes. The camera spans a spacious, private bath scene, circling around a tub filled to the brim with luxurious bubbles. A beautiful woman rests in the tub, hair pinned in loose curls, arms extended, massaging shapely legs, eyes closed in an ecstasy of relaxation.

Supposedly, this second scene is a picture of peace. What I want to know is, where are the kids, what is the dog doing and who was at the door?

Contrary to the commercial, peace doesn’t come in a package of bubble bath. It’s not found in a tub or even behind a closed door. Peace comes when we fix our minds on God and on his stability in our chaotic days. No matter who is tromping a mess across our floors or standing impatiently at our doors, the unchangeable God is in charge of our days. Knowing that for a fact is peace.



Zacchaeus: The Rich, Short Ruler

Luke 19:1–10

He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. (Luke 19:3)

Everyone in town knew him, but nobody liked him. He threw the worst parties and was always the first one drunk on his horribly cheap wine. It’s not as though he couldn’t afford anything better. Zacchaeus sat atop the whole dirty, tax-collecting heap, and from their years of overpaying collectors, the savvy residents of Jericho knew their money could buy better wine.

So when rumor started that a well-known teacher from the backwater of Galilee who had a penchant for waxing eloquent about money matters was making his way to Jericho, you can bet the person everyone least expected to see in the welcoming party was Zacchaeus. To everyone’s surprise the little man, dressed to the nines, showed up anyway. This teacher was, after all, growing extremely popular, and maybe it would do the collection agency’s reputation some good to see its chief officer rubbing shoulders with a hero of the working class. But when the day arrived, if Zacchaeus had come to be seen, the irony was only too apparent when it was he who had trouble seeing.

The crowds had started at the city gate where Jericho’s main drag began its meandering path through the city. Despite his compromised stature, Zacchaeus had always loved a crowd—crowds meant influence and power, not to mention a concentration of taxable pocketbooks. This small-town teacher’s people skills and crowd-gathering ability could come in handy for an unpopular political figure. If only Zacchaeus could see how this teacher did it.

Zacchaeus knew the parade route well, as he’d been a key figure in many of Jericho’s past spectacles. Picking up the fine linen hem of his garment, the short-legged tax collector hightailed it to a certain bend where the road took a dogleg left to get around a large sycamore tree near the center of town. He hadn’t climbed a tree since all his friends were still his height, and if all of Jericho hadn’t been down the road heralding the teacher, the crowd would have relished watching Zacchaeus fumble his way up the branches.

The only thing sillier than watching Zacchaeus climb up the tree was to see him come barreling out of it when the teacher called him by name: “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5). The crowd must have groaned, knowing the dismal reputation of the tax collector’s social insensitivity. However, over the huffs, Zacchaeus’s voice rose up, “Here and now I’m a different person.” Whether or not he realized at that moment that the crowd was standing there has been a topic of conjecture ever since.

Back to the Future

  • Why do you think Zacchaeus wanted so badly to see Jesus?
  • What measures are you willing to take to gain a clearer “sight” of Jesus?
  • Jesus invites himself into your heart: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20). What can you do to show Jesus that you want him to “come in and eat with you”?

The Story Continues …

Get the whole story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1–10.



Distinguishing grace

“For who maketh thee to differ from another?” 1 Corinthians 4:7

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 22:31-34

If thou leave me, Lord, for a moment, I am utterly undone.

“Leave, ah! leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me.”

Let Abraham be deserted by his God, he equivocates and denies his wife. Let Noah be deserted, he becomes a drunkard, and is naked to his shame. Let Lot be left awhile, and, filled with wine, he revels in incestuous embraces, and the fruit of his body becomes a testimony to his disgrace. Nay, let David, the man after God’s own heart, be left, and Uriah’s wife shall soon show the world that the man after God’s own heart still has an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. Oh! the poet puts it well –

“Methinks I hear my Saviour say, ‘Wilt thou forsake me too?’”

And now let our conscience answer:-

“Ah, Lord! with such a heart as mine,
Unless thou hold me fast,
I feel I must, I shall decline,
And prove like them at last.”

Oh be not rashly self-confident, Christian man. Be as confident as you can in your God, but be distrustful of yourself. You may yet become all that is vile and vicious, unless sovereign grace prevent and keep you to the end. But remember if you have been preserved, the crown of your keeping belongs to the Shepherd of Israel, and you know who that is. For he has said “I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” You know “who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” Then give all glory to the King immortal, invisible, the only wise God your Saviour, who has kept you thus.

For meditation: Those who think they can stand by themselves are taught by being allowed to fall by themselves (1 Corinthians 10:12Ecclesiastes 4:10).

Sermon no. 262
15 February (Preached 6 February 1859)

365 Days with C.H. Spurgeon, Vol. 1: A Unique Collection of 365 Daily Readings from Sermons Preached by Charles Haddon Spurgeon from His New Park Street Pulpit (365 Days With Series); edited by Terence Peter Crosby; (c) Day One Publications, 1998.